What Are Non-Machinable Stamps? (Meaning, Value + More)

What Are Non-Machinable Stamps? (Meaning, Value + More)

The mail sorting equipment is a major part of USPS efficiency. This machine can handle up to 36,000 pieces each hour. They work great when the mail is standard-sized, but what happens when that’s not the case?

Hand-canceling stamps is the best option for mailpieces that won’t fit in machines. This is not unusual as it takes more time.

  • USPS adds a surcharge to Non-Machinable Stamps when this happens. You can contact me if you have more questions on Non-Machinable stamps.
  • What are non-machinable stamps?

    Non-Machinable stamps are stamps issued by USPS that cover postage on First-Class domestic mailpieces that don’t meet the designated sizing standards. Examples of Non-Machinable items include square greeting cards, rigid letters, or lumpy letters containing pens or keys. Such things don’t fit into sorting machines and must be hand-canceled, resulting in a surcharge.

  • If you have more questions about Non-Machinable stamps, like how much they cost and where you can buy them, keep reading to find all the answers you need!
  • What Are Non-Machinable Stamps? (Meaning, Value + More)

    What is Non-Machinable mail?

    Before getting into what Non-Machinable stamps are, it’s helpful to have some background about Non-Machinable mail.

    The simplest definition of Non-Machinable mail would be any mail piece that USPS can’t sort for reasons other than its irregularity or form.

    Square cards, however, are the most widely used. The USPS also considers standard-sized letters to be:

  • Rectangular
  • Minimum 3 1/2 inches tall x 5 inch long x 0.07 inches thick

    Not more than 6 1/2 inches tall x 11 1/2″ long x 1/4″ thick

    Letters that do not meet this criteria will slow down, sometimes even jammers.

    To avoid any mechanical issues, USPS employees remove unusually-sized mail and hand-cancel the stamps.

    Hand sorting takes more time than machine sorting. USPS adds a surcharge on mail that does not conform to standard size mail, i.e. non-Machinable mail, because of this.

    What Is The Non-Machinable Surcharge For First-Class Mail?

    Like the previous paragraph, mailpieces of unusual size or shape must be handled outside the automated standard mail process.

    They are usually hand-sorted and inspected by USPS staff. This makes it more costly for them to process.

    USPS will add a Non-Machinable surcharge on First-Class Mail to any recipient who meets the following criteria.

  • An aspect ratio of a letter (length divided with height) less than 1/3 or greater than 2 1/2 (square envelopes).
  • A letter that’s more than 4 1/4 inches high or 6 inches long and is less than 0.009 inches thick
  • A letter that has clasps or strings, buttons, and similar closure devices
  • A too rigid letter
  • Un letter parallel to its shorter side with a delivery address
  • The letter contains pencils, keys, pens or other items that can create uneven thickness.
  • A letter that is poly-bagged, poly-wrapped, enclosed in any plastic material, or has an exterior surface made of a material that’s not paper
  • Currently, the Non-Machinable surcharge is $0.30.

    Forever USPS Postage Stamps (Sheet of 20) $13.75 If you are strapped for time, Amazon sells a wide variety of Firstclass and Forever USPS postage stamps. Same-day and next-day delivery is eligible for select orders. Amazon: Buy Now We receive a commission when you purchase, but it is at no extra cost to you.

    What Are Non-Machinable Stamps? (Meaning, Value + More)

    How much do non-machinable stamps cost?

    Non-Machinable stamped are currently available for $0.88. This is $0.30 more costly than First-Class standard letters.

    Are Non-Machinable Stamps Forever Stamps?

    Stamps with the word “Non Machinable Surcharge”, written on them like Forever Stamps are valid forever for the current Non Machinable surcharge.

    This means that even if USPS raises the price of Non-Machinable stamps, they will still allow you to use your stamps, even if the value is lower.

    What Are Non-Machinable Stamps? (Meaning, Value + More)

    How can I use non-machhinable stamps on regular mail

    Technically speaking, it is possible to use non-machinable stamps in regular mail.

    Non-Machinable stamps will cover the First class postage for a letter of one-ounce plus any non-Machinable surcharge.

    The surcharge is not required if the letter you send is standard-sized. You will not be charged extra if you are using a non-machinable stamp to sign your letter.

    If I Don’t Have A Non-Machinable Stamp, Can I Use Two Forever Stamps?

    For the Non Machinable surcharge you can have two Forever Stamps. Forever Stamps currently cost $0.58. If you combine two, this covers $1.16 in postage.

    Further, Non-Machinable stamps cost $0.88. Two Forever Stamps are more than sufficient postage to pay the surcharge.

    Even though you could use multiple Forever Stamps to replace a Non Machinable stamp you’ll still be paying for postage.

    It is therefore more economic to buy a Non Machinable stamp.

    What Are Non-Machinable Stamps? (Meaning, Value + More)

    You can find non-machinable stamps in many places.

    You can buy Non-Machinable stamps at your local Post Office, on the USPS website, or over the phone by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 (1-800-782-6724).

    You can buy stamps individually if you are buying them in person. However, if you are buying Non-Machinable stamps online or over the phone, you’ll need to buy a sheet of 20.

    How much are non-machinable stamps worth?

    At the moment, non-machinable stamps retail for $0.88. The $0.58 First class postage fee is included as well as the $0.30 Non Machinable surcharge.

    For comparison, the price of a single sheet with 20 Non-Machinable stamped is $17.60

    What Are Non-Machinable Stamps? (Meaning, Value + More)

    What does a non-machinable stamp look like?

    These stamps may also be known as butterfly stamps.

    This collaboration was initiated by the Greeting card Association and USPS in 2010.

    Both organizations also wanted to help consumers know whether they had enough postage for their heavy or unusually-shaped envelopes.

    Therefore, USPS agreed to feature butterflies on all of its Non-Machinable stamps, while greeting card companies started printing a butterfly icon on cards requiring a Non-Machinable stamp.

    USPS has currently two butterflies stamps. One is the California Dogface and one the Colorado Hairstreak.

    In addition to the butterfly image, both stamps feature the words “USA,” “Non-Machinable Surcharge,” and the year of the stamp’s release.

    We have posts that explain what military stamps are, how priority mail stamps work, and what semi-postal marks are.

  • Conclusion
  • Whether you’re sending a funky birthday card or a unique wedding invitation, USPS’ Non-Machinable stamps are there to help make sure your item gets to its destination safely for an affordable price.

    Are Non-machinable letters more costly?

    A nonmachinable mailpiece is a mailpiece that must be sorted outside of the standard, automated mail process. A surcharge is charged for these mailpieces because it costs more to process them.

    What Is A Non-Machinable Butterfly Stamp Worth?

    The nonmachinable surcharge is currently 20 cents.Dec 31, 2009

    What are the Ounces of a Non-Machinable Stamp?


    What Is the Value of the Butterfly Stamp in 2021

    An extra ounce of silver will cost 20 cents. The surcharge for non-standard square-shaped cards will increase from 20 to 30 cents. Therefore, the Butterfly Stamp’s price will go up to 88 cents. Jun 1, 2021

    .What Are Non-Machinable Stamps? (Meaning, Value + More)

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